Lexi Haigh submitted 2017-08-03

Have you ever been in the back of an ambulance during an emergency situation? How about on a life-flight plane ride from one hospital to another? Well, I have and know firsthand that they can easily look like chaos. I believe that nothing can prepare a person for an emergency situation better than being in them. No one wants to be in a life-threatening situation but I have been, not by choice. My past experience, education and future experience will prepare me for working in the health field post graduation.

I was the one with my life at risk in that ambulance and I was the one strapped to the bed on that life-flight. I know firsthand what it feels like to be the patient in that situation. Everyone who knows me knows that I am very accident-prone. I have been in many doctor’s offices in my twenty-three years, I have had more than a handful of broken bones and I have had to endure multiple therapy sessions. Having this experience already gives me a leg up because I know what to expect and I am able to relate to how the patient is feeling.

Not only have I been there when I’ve been hurt but I’ve also been around many injuries that were not my own. Sports are known for people getting hurt. I was fortunate enough to grow up participating in multiple sports. I participated in volleyball, soccer, basketball, golf and rodeo. These gave me the opportunity to witness many accidents, minor and major, throughout the years.

I believe that a large part of being an efficient health provider is compassion for others. The purpose of a health professional is to help other people. I have a strong love for and urge to help others to the best of my ability. This is part of why I have the past experience of helping others who have been injured. I am one of the first people to jump in and lend a hand where needed because that is what I would want others to do for me. My past experience, both as a bystander and as the patient, has allowed me to appreciate the value of those who help in emergency situations.

I still remember the first major injury that I witnessed. I was at a team roping, only about seven years old, when a guy rode out the back gate and right next to me. He had dislocated his arm and was clearly in pain. One of the other participants quickly called an ambulance while some others helped the man off of his horse and to the ground. The image of his arm dangling and his face when the paramedics popped it back in are still in my mind sixteen years later. I was petrified as a little seven-year-old but I have come a long ways since then.

The first couple of accidents that I witnessed, I was shaken up or felt panicked not knowing what to do or how to help. The more experience that I got, the more confident I became in my knowledge of what to do in medical emergencies. My education has helped me learn the steps that should be taken in emergency situations. Working, during the summers, in a veterinary clinic has also taught me how to handle urgency while maintaining focus. Having this skill and knowledge has helped me be productive a various number of times. I now know that staying calm is the most efficient way to help.

I continue to encounter injuries frequently‒ they are an inevitable part of sports. I am sure that I will witness and be part of many more in my future years. These situations are ones that I don’t wish for anyone but, at the same time, each one presents me with the opportunity to learn. There is always something that can be taken away from each one.

I want to continue to look at these situations with the same attitude. I want to learn from each of my past experiences and be able to take that knowledge and use it to help others in the future. Even though I already have a vast amount of knowledge, there is no limit on the amount a single person can acquire. My past and future experience will morph me into an efficient health professional with many advantages; the most valuable factor being my ability to relate to the patient. I have been on their end of the relationship many of times.